As we start the month, Mercury remains retrograde until August 23. Mercury retrograde is the time to take care of old projects and reconnect with existing clients, but not a good time to start new projects, buy a car, buy a phone, or have a medical test. Put that off until the end of the month if possible. The next Mercury retrograde is from November 10 through December 11, so plan ahead. And don’t forget about the eclipse on the 11th in Leo—it will have the biggest influence on the Leos, Taureans, Scorpios, and Aquarians. Mars, planet of action, also remains retrograde until mid-September. August is the perfect month to go slow, take your time, and not miss any details!
ARIES (March 21–April 19). For the last few months, you have been really focused on getting your act together with career and long-term security choices. This month, you are in a more playful mood and should be looking to get away from your routines. This is a great time to spend with your children, or to just be more childlike. By the end of the month, you are ready to get back to your normal routines and get your life more organized. Relationships also improve. This is a good time to renew those bonds with your partner. Make sure your communications with others are clear!
TAURUS (April 20–May 20). Home and family is the focus during the first part of the month. We are working on making our nest a more comfortable place to live. With Mercury retrograde in the same area, this can be a good time to get in touch with distant family members, finish your home organizing and cleanup projects, and speak your mind on topics that particularly resonate with you. Your temper may be short this month, and you will resist doing things you don’t want to do. Watch your temper, as you may be acting out for personal reasons rather than the real issue at hand. By the end of the month, you are ready to get away from all of this and possibly take a short vacation!
GEMINI (May 21–June 21). With your ruling planet, Mercury, retrograde until the end of this month, communications are even more important than usual. You may experience more delays with daily travel, more problems being heard, and the need to redo work that you thought you’d already finished. Your multitasking skills aren’t working as well as they usually do, so slow down and reduce the number of objects you’re juggling. With Mercury retrograde, it’s always a good time to reconnect with old friends, take care of projects you’ve been avoiding, and get those finances in order. By midmonth, you are beginning to focus on home and family topics. After the 23rd, you will be ready to act on what you’ve been thinking about.
CANCER (June 22–July 22). Finances, death, and expenditures are the main focus for this month. With Mercury retrograde strongly influencing this area of your horoscope, this is the perfect time to deal with old problems and get them cleaned up. This can also be a month where you spend more money than you usually do—but for necessities rather than pleasure. Toward the end of the month, you’re feeling more organized and are using your time more efficiently. With groups, organizations, and friends, you are reevaluating your participation. You will be looking for new acquaintances that can turn into long-term friendships. By the very end of the month, you are beginning to focus on making your home a nicer and more comfortable place.
LEO (July 23–August 22). Happy birthday to the Lions and Lionesses! This is your personal yearly cycle of evaluating the goals that you set for yourself last year and looking to set new ones this year. With Mercury retrograde in your sign, and with Mars, planet of action, retrograde as well, this is a much better month to consider new plans of action—but not necessarily to act on them until the end of the month. All of your important relationships need some attention, so this is a great time to get out of town and renew those bonds. If not, your partner could be unusually grouchy and harder to please. You are also feeling restless about your career direction. You are looking for something that really resonates with your heart, rather than just pushing the rock uphill every day. The end of the month is a much better time to address all of these issues.
VIRGO (August 23–September 22). As the month begins, you are in a place of spiritual retreat as you isolate yourself from the onslaught of daily news and activities. This can be a great time for a vacation to the beach or a lake, taking a meditation or yoga class, or just turning off your phone so you can find some inner peace. You are also in the process of letting go of past goals and events that you once participated in, because you’re looking for new ways to express this side of your personality. Toward the end of the month, you will be feeling back on track and ready to act on ideas that have been percolating in your brain. It will be easier to get yourself back to your routines and pay more attention to your health regimen.
LIBRA (September 23–October 23). Friendships and group associations are being reexamined as Mercury retrograde activates this area of your horoscope. For activities that don’t have a real purpose or agenda, you are withdrawing and looking for other organizations to satisfy this side of you. Personal relationships aren’t working as well, either. Your partner may be in a funky mood, and nothing that you do seems to improve the situation. First, don’t blame yourself! They are sure what they want, but that will clear up by the end of the month. Home and family responsibilities, such as taking care of aging family members or making home repairs, are also very important this month. And with the existing retrogrades, this is a perfect time to take care of old problems. Our mood lightens a heck of a lot by the end of the month.
SCORPIO (October 24–November 21). You continue to be as busy as you have been for the last five to six months. Mercury is retrograding in your career sector this month. If there are problems in that area, this is the ideal time for them to come to the surface so that you can address them and find a solution. You will find that some of your previous activities no longer support your career goals. Relationships can feel restrictive if your partner isn’t open to examining new ideas and refreshing the whole feel of your relationship. By midmonth you are clearer about the path you want to follow, and ready to make a commitment to that process. In the latter part of the month, friends are especially important to offer support and alternative views that can help you see your way around problems.
SAGITTARIUS (November 22–December 21). You are ready for a break from your responsibilities, or even a vacation. This is a wonderful month to reconnect with friends or to revisit some of your favorite getaway spots. The only problem area has to do with your finances. You are working hard to get all of that in order and get rid of debt that limits your mobility. By the end of the month, you are ready to get back to your routines. Career and self-promotion are areas that you will strongly focus on during August and September. It’s also much easier to change or improve exercise and eating programs this month. Your home remains a place of retreat and refuge. You will need some escape time, especially into next month.
CAPRICORN (December 22–January 19). As this month begins, there are three big planets in Capricorn: Saturn, the ruler of Capricorn; Pluto, the planet of deconstruction; and Mars, the planet of action and confrontation. All three are putting enormous pressure on you to take action and make real changes in your life. The eclipse last month was a big trigger for the dissatisfaction you feel, and a call to change. You are re-examining your resources to see how you can improve your financial situation in the future. With Mercury retrograde in this area of your horoscope, it is the perfect time to scrutinize your monetary habits. With all of this energy around you, this can be a time where you are considering starting your own business, retiring and doing what you’ve always wanted to do, or selling everything and trying to live off grid. By the end of the month, you will feel clearer and ready to take action on your ideas.
AQUARIUS (January 20–February 18). In July, you had plenty of ideas and were ready to put all of them into action. With Mars, planet of action, now retrograding in your sign, you have pulled back and are rethinking those plans. And with Mercury retrograding in your opposite sign, you have slowed your forward movement and are taking care of issues from the past. All of this will change by the end of this month, so you only have a short amount of time to complete ongoing projects. This is a good month to pay attention to your relationships and to improve communications and bad habits that have developed over time. By the end of the month, both Mars and Mercury will be moving forward—and so will you. Career opportunities continue to open up, and you will feel a lot more comfortable about acting on them next month.
PISCES (February 19–March 20). You are working on cleaning up your office area at work, and generally getting your life more organized. This is also a good time to renew health and exercise programs, or to take care of an existing condition that you have been ignoring. Your pets will demand more time from you, as they want to feel special and significant in your life. Toward the end of the month, relationships will require your focus. If you are involved, this is a good time to renew those connections and to remember why you are together. If you’re single, the end of the month and September are good times for you to be putting yourself out there. Your career area is slowly beginning to get busier. You may be looking at writing, publishing, or studying abroad. Life does get busier!
This article appears in the August 2018 edition of OutSmart magazine.